A standing joke to fulfil a boyhood dream was completed when a couple flew into their wedding reception by helicopter.
Tom and Ronnie Ridings, from Penwortham, spied the helipad in the gardens of Bagden Hall, Denby Dale, West Yorkshire – the venue they would later choose to host their big day – during a wedding fair.
“We were walking around the grounds and Tom spotted the helipad,” said Ronnie.
“The lady who was taking us round said it was being used by a visitor and also mentioned that it could be used for weddings.
“It became a standing joke then, but I had known flying in a helicopter was something Tom had wanted to do since he was small.”
Ronnie, a sales assistant who met her IT worker husband when they were both studying at UCLan, enlisted the help of Bagden Hall’s general manager, Caroline Gleeson, to surprise her fiancé with the helicopter ride on their wedding day.
“Tom had absolutely no idea what I had planned until we arrived at the school field to take off after our church ceremony,” said Ronnie. “I just turned to him and said ‘Happy Wedding Day!’ and he just looked at me in total shock.
“His language on the journey to the reception was quite colourful!”
Caroline was delighted to see the couple start married life in fine style: “Helicopter entrances, like we can provide at Bagden Hall, are just the best. We can’t wait for another wedding season to fly high.”